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Welcome to Pursuit of Spark!  Join us for conversations about creative approaches to the challenges, possibilities, and pleasures of everyday life and work.

Thanks to Dick Nodell and Stephanie Lyness, we have much to share with you over the next few months in Work Mysteries and American Gumbo.  If you have a question for Dick or Steph, send it to us at info (at)  We would love to have you join the conversation!

If you're in New York City, please join me at The Metropolitan Museum of Art for Spark Conversations.   You can find out more about this new series here.

We look forward to hearing from you!




Four Lessons in Creativity
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Spark: How Creativity Works has stories from artists, musicians, writers, and directors about where they find their spark.  It's also available as an audio book.

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Creative Organizing with Diane Thomson

When the clutter of everyday feels overwhelming, Diane approaches the challenges of creating order with a generous good nature and practical ideas.



Tame the student notebook stack

The school year has begun -- and the lists of required school supplies from teachers can be daunting.  Diane Thomson of Creative Organizing has some suggestions for a system that will let your middle or high school student get ready and stay organized throughout the year, and her emphasis is to SIMPLIFY!  Here's our conversation:

Here's a quick list of Diane's suggestions:
1.  Pare down all the various notebooks teachers are requesting into a single binder.  She likes the Case-it Blue Zipper Binder (D-250) with a zipper and a pocket.
2.  Use plastic tab dividers (with two pockets) to organize the sections, such as the Avery Two Pocket Insertable dividers.
3.  For the notebook paper, make sure it's reinforced.
In the conversation, Diane also has tips about how to help your student convince teachers that this system will work, even if it's not exactly what they requested.